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Where does the buck stop at Anfield?


Kenny Dalglish did the only thing he could on Saturday to deflect from the criticism that was bound to come his way following the poor defeat at Bolton.

The buck doesn’t necessarily stop with the manager if players are underperforming, but it does hint at something wrong with man management at the very least.

Dalglish had his finest successes in an era before Wenger, Zola, Cantona even, excluding his efforts at Blackburn. The foreign, modern influx of player that made the Premiership faster, fitter, was a rarity in his 80s glory days with British staples Rush, Barnes and Hansen the main men, but the signings of Carroll, Downing, Adam and Henderson are fast proving the moves of a man who is out of touch.

Dalglish has reverted to the old ‘Boot Room’ philosophy passed down across generations from the time of Shankly to Roy Evans when it fast became apparent that times had changed and that Liverpool needed to bring in a foreign coach in Gerard Houllier to show they were moving on from resting on the laurels of the glory days.

Criticism has been kept in-house. Suarez has been defended, to the detriment of the club’s image around the world. Carroll has been defended despite being criticised to the point of ridicule and regularly finding himself on the bench. Dalglish even went so far as to say Downing is ‘better than he thought’. A real head-scratcher that one.

Stewart Downing signs for Liverpool

Stewart Downing in happier times (around July)

Mistakes don’t get criticised. It’s all about the team and about Liverpool being the best football club in the world. A fortress. Siege mentality like the one Ferguson built around him to survive in the early 90s and turn into the most successful period in the club’s history.

But that changed at Bolton in an act of unusual outspoken criticism from the Scot. Players like Carroll, Downing and Adam to a slightly lesser extent are surely already worrying about their long-term places at the club. The Suarez incident needs sorting.

How he will fit back into the team and respond to the constant abuse he will receive at the hands of opposition players and fans only he will know. The smart money says it won’t be pretty. Dalglish has a massive battle on his hands keeping morale going at Anfield for the remainder of the season.

Despite that a Wembley final looms with a home semi final and a 1-0 advantage over Man City to come on Wednesday. Then Manchester United on Saturday, when the booing of Evra will bring up more problems in them media. And Liverpool remain within sight of Chelsea in fourth despite a wretched series of performances. The season can be salvaged, but after the performance on Saturday it’ll take one of the greatest feats of King Kenny’s  Liverpool career to-date.

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  1. jumpingpolarbear
    January 24, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Liverpool just aren’t good enough for top 4 in the premier league

  2. fitz124
    January 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Yep, unfortunately (as a Liverpool fan) I agree.

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